To fun or not to fun, that is the question.

I never knew you could ‘fun’ – but you can, in North America at least. I think that is pretty cool. It is a verb, ‘informal, to tease or joke’, as in ‘Hey, I was only funning’. We don’t fun in that way in the UK. Not to my knowledge at least.

I think this is excellent, because let’s face it: there just isn’t enough fun around anymore. I happen to be a great fan of ‘fun’, but it seems to me that somewhere along the way ‘fun’ got a bit of a bad name. Which is a great shame.

Was it because ‘fun’ feels a little old-fashioned? Perhaps a little bit 1930s, when the ‘Radio Fun’ and ‘Film Fun’ comics first came out with their rather quaint strips? In America ‘More Fun Comics’ was rather different and saw the arrival of one of my all-time favourite characters: a deceased cop who acts as a host to the cosmic entity known as the ‘The Spectre’. A very special type of fun that last one!

Different Funs
Different Funs

Personally I think the demise of ‘fun’ has a lot to do with comedy becoming cool. Not just cool, but also dark and often based on the comedy of embarrassment or even of taking the mickey out of people via hidden cameras. Now, I’m not saying that these approaches can’t have their merits (especially when the targets of prankster comedy actually deserve it) but I wouldn’t say they were ‘fun’. And this, I feel, is a shame. Fun has a lot going for it (a friend of mine is very big on men and women wearing large papier-mâché heads), it’s light-hearted, pleasurable and enjoyable and it doesn’t take itself too seriously. Is it controversial to say that too much comedy takes itself too seriously these days? Again ‘serious comedy’ has its place, especially when dealing with serious issues like politics, but it does not have to be a forum for exposing your own neurosis. Which is not to say you can’t be serious about ‘doing’ it.

I’m serious about my comedy writing, especially Master Detective Nicely Strongoak, which is why I was so delighted to have reviews recently that described A DEAD ELF thus: ‘Witty and fun!’ ‘Super fun read’ and ‘Fun read’. Brilliant, as this book was meant to be fun!

OK, you might find a few more serious points being mentioned along the way, but they are all slipped in under the RADAR; it’s more fun that way!

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Author and scriptwriter, Terry Newman

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